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COPD: What really helps against smoker's cough


Stopping smoking immediately is the first step in COPD therapy

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. In Germany alone, up to five million people suffer from the disease, which is popularly known as the smoker's cough. Health experts have now published new treatment recommendations.

Up to five million Germans suffer from COPD

According to the German Respiratory League, three to five million people suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in Germany alone. According to health experts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, popularly known as smoker's cough or smoker's lung, is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Sometimes non-smokers are also affected, but in 90 percent of all cases in Germany the main cause is quite clearly determined: smoking. An immediate cessation of cigarettes is therefore the first step in therapy for COPD patients.

Treatment depends on the degree of illness

In addition to smoking as the main cause, genetic factors and air pollution also play a role in the development of the disease.

As the Medical University (Med Uni) Graz (Austria) reports on its website, the treatment depends on the degree of illness and ranges from smoking cessation, drug therapy and oxygenation to lung transplantation.

According to the information, pneumological rehabilitation programs, specifically designed for the lungs, are becoming increasingly important.

"Caring for patients with COPD requires good cooperation between all levels of care and facilities," said Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Andrea Siebenhofer-Kroitzsch, head of the Institute for General Medicine and Evidence-Based Health Services Research (IAMEV) at the Med Uni Graz.

"The main responsibility for coordination should lie in primary care," said the expert.

Stay away from cigarettes

On behalf of the Main Association of Austrian Social Insurance Institutions, the IAMEV has now developed a structured treatment path for the primary care level for the therapy of COPD in Austria.

Recommendations from 13 current international and evidence-based guidelines serve as the basis.

In addition to general principles in the treatment of people with COPD in primary care, the path also gives recommendations for basic assessment and for diagnosing suspected COPD, dealing with acute deterioration, drug and non-drug therapy, smoking cessation, long-term Oxygen therapy, pneumological rehabilitation and palliative care.

The smoking cessation is central both for COPD patients and for all as yet unaffected people.

A smoke-free environment is also important so that people don't start smoking or stop smoking.

So it works with the stop smoking

Quitting smoking is not easy for many.

In order to get out of addiction, you definitely need a firm will.

Experts recommend looking for a stress-free time to quit. If you have problems with your partner or at work, it is more difficult to do without cigarettes.

It also makes sense to inform friends and relatives and, if necessary, ask them not to smoke in their presence.

It is usually advised to stop completely, because each additional cigarette stimulates the addiction memory anew.

Scientific studies have also shown that cold withdrawal is the best way to stop smoking.

Nicotine patches can make the transition easier, but they are not a permanent solution because they keep the ex-smoker physically dependent.

According to studies, e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: How Can Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD Be Managed? (January 2022).